Whilst talking to the media in Bangalore on Monday, Pakistani captain Mohammad Hafeez played down the pressure that will be on his players in the upcoming series against India by saying that all international matches have an element of pressure. Hafeez stated that the players will have to soak up the pressure and went on to say "We will try our level best to play without pressure."
Hafeez said he believes his team has a strong bowling line up with a good mixture of spin and fast bowlers. The Pakistani captain believes that Pakistans bowling line up can cause real problems for the strong Indian batting order in the upcoming T20 and ODI series.
"The Indian batting is well known all over the world being extremely good. But winning or losing does not depend only on batting. Bowling will also have a major role" Hafeez stated in remarks to the media.
Hafeez went on to emphasize how he is also confident with his teams batting line up "When we see our team, both batting and bowling is very good. So, our bowlers can negotiate the strong Indian batting line-up."
Hafeez also credited the selectors for giving a chance to the youngsters who have performed well in domestic cricket in recent times and also having selected a team with a mixture of youth and experience "It will be a good experience for them in India because the crowds are always good. So the pressure is always there, but you have to handle it. Our team is a mix of both experience and youth. We have Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal. It is a mixture of seniors and juniors."
The Pakistani skipper also emphasised the importance that the number one ranked ODI bowler in the world - Saeed Ajmal - would have on Pakistan's over all performance. "We want him [Ajmal] to stay at the peak. We don't want to put too much pressure on him. At the same time, other bowlers also have to do well and take wickets to give confidence to him," Hafeez said whilst talking to the media in Bangalore on the eve of the first T20.
Mohammad Hafeez also spoke about the importance of having Shahid Afridi with in the squad, despite his poor form in recent times. Hafeez went on to say "I being the captain, would love to see good performance from him [Afridi]."